Chapter Ten: More Clues

Sergeant Whalley started talking to Rob and Sandra in their living room. Steve and Jennifer took seats. “There are some more things I can tell you about at this time. We have reconstructed some details of Andy’s final hours. He was in Manchester at midnight, when the new year started. He took a taxi from Manchester to a strip club in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts. He paid for it with a gift credit card that a bank sent him, for using their credit card. That’s how we were able to trace the transaction, which went through at nine minutes past midnight. I talked to the cab driver, and she said she required payment up front, and that company takes credit cards. That puts him in Manchester at nine past midnight. Well, he spent the rest of the gift card at the strip club, drinking. He didn't need his ID to get in, because they weren't checking. They knew that even if they lost their license, it was just a few days before the new legislature gets sworn in and repeals the liquor laws, so they won't need one. Apparently Andy left when they closed. It’s not that far from the strip club to the place where the crash happened. Now, there is the explanation that he lived in the condo complex off Spit Brook Road in Nashua, and one shortcut there is to take the left turn off Middlesex Road in Tyngsborough, onto the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Nashua, and then he could walk down the Exit One ramp in Nashua to get to Spit Brook Road. However, his injuries indicate that the front of his body was hit by the truck. The back of his head and body hit the pavement.

“Now, that stretch of ramp, of course, is off-limits to pedestrians. There was a report at 2:17 by a Nashua Police officer, that a pedestrian was walking up the ramp. There was little the officer could do, however, because the pedestrian was still in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I spoke with that officer, and he said the pedestrian seemed to be just standing there, watching the traffic go by. This is consistent with what the truck driver told me, that Andy waited as two cars ahead of the truck went by, and then Andy stepped out in front of him.”

Rob and Sandra were shocked. Rob held Sandra and she cried on his shoulder.

Sergeant Whalley continued, “There’s one more problem. There may have to be an investigation by the Massachusetts State Police.”

Sandra asked, “Did the crash happen in Massachusetts, or in New Hampshire?”

“We’re not so sure.” Sergeant Whalley explained. “We had a surveyor draw a line, due west, from the monument on the east side of the Daniel Webster Highway. It looked certain that the impact happened in New Hampshire.”

Rob joined in. “But the line doesn’t run due west. That’s the Hazzen Line of 1741, retraced in 1894, and it runs slightly northwest, about two and a half degrees. Check the map.”

“Exactly.” Sergeant Whalley said. “Because of that, when the surveyor went back out around noon on New Year’s Day, it appears the impact may have taken place in Tyngsborough. They established the line precisely, the next day, and we can’t really tell on which side the impact occurred, but Tyngsborough would give concurrent jurisdiction to the Massachusetts State Police.”

“And then any criminal charges would be filed in the Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge.” Sandra said.

Rob mentioned, “They ran into that problem when the Pheasant Lane Mall was being built. They surveyed off a monument by the Merrimack River, along the railroad tracks, and went due west. That gave them more land in New Hampshire. Then they surveyed again, going northwest, and found the corner of one store protruded across the line, so they truncated that corner of the building plan, so that the entire store would be in New Hampshire, and they’d avoid the legal uncertainty of having interstate premises. It was also a problem when a drunk driver killed a ten-year-old girl on the Everett Turnpike, on the first of October, 1989. The police assumed the crash happened in New Hampshire, because it was north of the ‘Welcome to Massachusetts’ sign. The defense lawyer raised the issue of jurisdiction, and the jury had to tour the crash site and see that, yes, it happened in New Hampshire. The girl’s father had stopped there to put on his helmet.”

Sergeant Whalley said, “Maybe it was just a coincidence that he was at that spot, when he saw a suitable truck to walk in front of, or maybe he planned it that way, just to mess us up. Or possibly he picked that spot so if a police cruiser happened along, he could step across the line, and they’d have no jurisdiction. We do see that with hitch-hikers, once in a while, where they stand right on the line, and we just drive by. By the way, New Hampshire would have jurisdiction in a homicide if the body is found here, regardless of where the assault took place.”

Sandra sighed, “It looks like there might not be any criminal charges, though. Not if Andy intentionally walked in front of a moving truck.” She broke down and cried on Rob’s shoulder.

“That’s the preliminary finding.” Sergeant Whalley said.

Steve said, “If he was so depressed, he had nothing to lose. I think he should have become a Freedom Fighter, especially down in Massachusetts, where the cops still enforce so many unjust laws.”

Sergeant Whalley replied, “Well, in my opinion, that would only make sense if his misery was the fault of the government. Then, he’d be retaliating against the deliberate wrongdoing of the government and its cops.”

Rob turned to Steve and said, “Steve, the Freedom Fighters didn’t solve all the problems in society, you know. On New Year’s afternoon, the cops in Portsmouth went into a crack house and removed three dead bodies.”

Sergeant Whalley said, “On New Year’s afternoon, the cops in Chelsea, Massachusetts went into a crack house and became three dead bodies. My wife once told a Congressman she’d rather I remove a dead body than become one.” Then he closed his notebook and left.


Copyright © 2004 Tom Alciere